Sunday, 31 October 2010

Michael and Freddy and Chucky, Oh My!

Since this is the second part of my Halloween themed blog posts, I thought I would dedicate it to something other than what I usually blog about, usually being about writing or books lol. This blog post is about my other obsession - movies! Horror movies to be more accurate.

When we were younger, me and my friends used to stay up all night on Halloween watching the scariest movies we could get our hands on. As we got older, we tended to go out to bars wearing stupid costumes rather than stay home, but I personally have always tried to spend at least part of Halloween watching a fright-fest!

Over the years horror movies are getting mixed reactions from me. Usually annoyance, since modern scary movies just don't cut it. If the nude scenes outnumber the scary scenes, then something ain't working. A horror genius shouldn't need to rely on sex to sell their movie. 

Thing that really gets me these days, is horror movies were far more cutting edge years ago than they are today. In the seventies and eighties there saw a change in how we liked to be scared. Before the scariest movies had monsters in them, then the movie makers got smart. They figured out what scares people most is something that could actually happen to them in their own home. 

Of course, there was nothing wrong with the odd movie monster. Even in the far-fetched cases of Nightmare on Elm Street, they still managed to strike fear into our hearts by sticking close to the reality factor, and that is no one likes scary dreams. They scare us. Freddy terrified an entire generation, and built up hype for their kids. And as a child of someone who was terrified of Freddy, let me just say it wasn't false advertising. 

Anyone remember the first time they saw this little critter :- 

I do! Not likely to forget in a hurry, either. 

But my point of this post is this - horror movies just aren't what they used to be. Even in the cases where the movie maker decided to go for a monster of an axe wielding maniac, they still managed to scare us more than film makers can today. Why? Maybe they like the sex and blood too much. Maybe it's a generation thing.   Maybe the just need to go back to basics.

Who was Michael Myers? Michael was just a kid when he stabbed his big sister, Judith. He came from a relatively normal home (if you believe the original back story of Michael, and not the stupid one released a few years ago) yet there was something dark inside him. But underneath it all, he was still a man.

Mrs Voorhees was a grieving mother, angry at the children who neglected her son and caused him to die. Okay, fair enough, it wasn't the people she actually murdered who were at fault, but the reasons are still the same.

Even Freddy, when you look at his history, was just a man. A terrifying and disgusting paedophile,  but still just a man. Who gave him power? The people who tried to restore justice. 

The scariest thing I've ever seen, is The Hitcher. Why? Because it could happen. Really, really, happen. Why was C. Thomas Howell the unfortunate man chosen to die at the hands of a maniac? Bad luck. He picked him up, and that's that. No motive, no back story. Just plain old bad luck. It could have happened to anyone. 

Having said that, last decade saw the return of non-movie monster horror movies. Drew Barrymore set the tone for Scream in her ten minute intro for the movie, and paid her due in blood, as does everyone who opens a horror movie. We saw the return of the axe wielding maniac who managed to scare us, and not by going over the top. Of course, there's the typical girls running in the wrong direction and the obvious one's who are going to die, but when Scream was released I sighed a sigh of relief. I thought horror was coming back, real horror, real honest to goodness fear. 

Unfortunately, it turned out more to be a three-trick-pony, and after a few decent efforts, the horror died down again. The beginning of the noughties introduced another new brand of scary, this time in the form of Saw. And whilst it was enjoyable (the first few times), and damn hard to puzzle out what was going to happen, the over the top blood and guts ruined what could have been a terrifying piece of cinema.  

And now onto my biggest horror-hate...the dreaded remake!!!!!  

I beg of you, film makers everywhere, stop remaking all the best horror movies! You degraded Michael, plain forgot the original killer in Friday the 13th and tamed Freddy. The worst part of all the remakes is they forgot what made these movies scary in the first place, and instead of trying to achieve that level of fear again, went with flashing a pair of boobs instead. 


So that is that, my horror-movie-freak lovelies. Happy Halloween!

P.s....what's your favourite scary movie?


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